The Byerleys: God’s Approval

“To those trying to make a decision about fostering and/or adopting, I would like to share our experience in brief.  My wife and I were told about The Call and went to a meeting at a church.  At the meeting we got the information and the opportunity to put our foot forward in the direction of opening our home to the orphaned children in Arkansas.  We soon realized in the training the seriousness and severity of the situations leading to a child being placed in foster care.  We became aware that this was going to be more of a ministry that requires God’s help.  Once we began with our first placement we felt an almost indescribable assurance of God’s approval and blessing.  We soon found out the common goal of all was to reunite these kids back to their parents….We may foster and/or adopt more but what I like is the fact that we made the decision based on what we can do and what God wills us to do.  We’ve learned it takes courage to make this decision but ultimately it is God’s approval that really matters.  I hope our example helps and encourages you in this great endeavor.” -Jeffery

The LaGrones: Reunification

“To us foster care is more about the whole family, and not just the children. We love to see when a child can be reunited with family even if it’s not mom and dad. We got to experience this with our first foster son. He got to be reunited with his loving grandmother. Throughout, the last several years we have gotten to see him grow, meet and exceed expectations, and be apart of his life. This wouldn’t have been possible without reunification and the love and support of all of us. ” -Heidi

Leten Adams: Priceless Joy

I am a single mother of 3. Through the good times and hard times I got to see my children become adults. I am now 52 years old and it feels good to have my me time. Or so I thought.  I would have 6 to 15 children at a time just on weekends. I was a mentor for children age 12 to 15 year old. I would show up at their schools, sometimes I would have etiquette party’s and invite fathers to take their daughter’s out to eat and mothers to take their son’s out to eat. Hmm still no me time. I became a foster parent through seeing children while babysitting for other foster families. I could see their broken hearts, anger, acting out, and their pain. Who would have thought  I would have adopted two wonderful boys at age 3 and 4. Now 9 and 10. I looked back on the seed that was being planted in them from my life style, praying, teaching, encouragement, rewards and most of all agape love. I decided to teach and emphasize more on these two scriptures. Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord and Lean not on my own understanding. Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child and agape love showing them unconditional love, and showing selfless love. The love Jesus Christ has shown me!

Now I get to see the children that were angry and rebellious, receive hope and ambition.  The joy I see in them is priceless. My children feel comfortable and safe, you know that’s peace (With no worries!) because they are encouraged and taught agape love. I know now how a virtuous woman feels. Because these two boys tell me everyday “I love you mom.”-Leten

The Brasfields: The Role of Foster Parents

“As foster parents, we realize our job is to make children that enter our home feel loved, comfortable, and accepted. We love playing a role in our foster children’s story even if it’s for a day or for several months. The greatest joy for us is seeing our kids reunited with their families. It can be tough to let them go, but to know we have them what they needed when they need it the most, makes being a foster parent all worth while.” -Kimberly
The role of a foster parent is essential. The healthy reunification of a child with their biological families is what we hope for every time.

The Phifers: Reunification

“D” was a fragile 3 days old when she joined our family. She was smaller in size for her gestational age. I remember how her clothes would just hang off of her tiny body.  I even remember how she would just lay there, no affect, no movement, just —there. Fast forward 11 months!
She was grabbing at and holding her bottle, completely filling out her 9 months size outfits and shoes and, most importantly, the full laugh that she would giggle whenever her siblings, my other children, were around. She was a pure joy!
Before I met her mom, I was angry with her. Angry that her choices contributed to this baby’s massive struggles. But then I met her! Single mom, displaced from her family, employment, and home. Her disheveled appearance told me that she was even about to be displaced from life! Her anguish forced me to look deeper into my own shortcomings and struggles and all I could see was God’s Grace and Mercy. Honestly a few more bad decisions and I could have been her.
So, I started texting pictures and memo’s of “D” babbling and I began to receive messages that started to speak life. She was regaining her will to succeed. She was pushing forward to getting better and every time she reached a milestone, I would send another image of her daughter.
I remember getting the phone call that said, we will be picking “D” up at 10 on Sunday….a week prior to her birthday.
My heart stopped, because my baby girl was leaving.  Then my heart jumped, because her mom had taken her life back.
So many emotions, so many thoughts.
My takeaway from having the privilege of fostering this baby and her mom into wellness and wholeness is nothing short of the blessing in realizing just how valuable we are to God’s Kingdom! More than compensating for our own loss is the ability to be supporting, loving and compassionate to someone who needs it the most!
*The goal of foster care is to reunify these children with their biological family. The Phifer family is reflecting  the grace and forgiveness that God gives us everyday when they show grace to the biological parents of the children in their care. As we are praying for our foster families we also pray for the biological families to be healed and reunified.